A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Teacher: So you've got a few minutes to discuss with your partner.

Student 1: So, as far as I know, the main similarity between Mars and Earth is that they can both support human life.

Student 2: Yeah, but do we know that's actually true? I mean, Mars is much colder than Earth, isn't it? It says here it's about minus 55 degrees most of the time, whereas on Earth only places like Antarctica get that cold.

Student 1: True. Well then, I suppose you could say both planets are a similar distance from the Sun?

Student 2: No way! Mars is much further away! It says here it's about 228 million kilometres, while Earth is about 150 million.

Student 1: Yes, but in space that's not that far. Jupiter is, like, almost 780 million kilometres. That's why we use astronomical units when we talk about distances in space. Earth is 1 astronomical unit from the Sun and Mars is 1.3. The difference doesn't sound so big when you look at it that way.

Student 2: I see what you mean. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units so I guess you're right. What other similarities are there between the two planets?

Student 1: Let's see … not the colour, obviously!

Student 2: Yeah! Earth is called the blue planet and Mars is called the red planet for pretty obvious reasons!

Student 1: Their sizes are pretty different. Mars is about half the size of Earth.

Student 2: What about this? It looks like the days on both planets are almost the same length. Earth's day is 24 hours but Mars's is about half an hour longer.

Student 1: You're right. OK, any other things they both share?

Student 2: I suppose you could say they have water in common.

Student 1: Could you? How?

Student 2: Well, Earth is 70 per cent water and Mars probably had huge oceans in the past. It's just that most of the water there now is probably frozen.

Student 1: Ah, I see. I don't think we can say the air is the same, though. Most of Earth's air is nitrogen and oxygen, but Mars …?

Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth.

Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide.

Student 2: Gravity is another difference. I didn't know this, but Mars has higher gravity than the Moon. But it's much less than on Earth, of course.

Student 1: Oh, yes. It says Mars has about 38 per cent of Earth's gravity.

Teacher: OK, let's see what you've found …

Discussion

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Average: 5 (4 votes)

Submitted by hsyazhyra on Tue, 17/09/2019 - 07:58

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I have completed the lesson of A Student Discussion.The level that I chose was Intermediate B1 Listening.

Submitted by hafiyaqil on Tue, 17/09/2019 - 07:26

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I have completed the lesson Student Discussion the level i choose was B1 listening
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Submitted by kamicounciler on Sat, 31/08/2019 - 20:26

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probably mars is one of the most similar planets to the earth but not the best one for human to live so i think there are certainly planets (maybe outside our galaxy even) that are more likely to earth and people can live there in the future.
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Submitted by Magedelabd on Wed, 28/08/2019 - 18:37

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I do not think so . Unless the Mars specification changed , like having Oxygen as an example .

Submitted by myavari on Tue, 27/08/2019 - 10:09

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I think it is too soon to answer this question. Many research need to solve the problem.

Submitted by kseniwerdy on Sat, 24/08/2019 - 03:43

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I wonder about this sentence: "It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth." Doesn't it mean that "There is 1 percent of air more on Mars than on Earth."?..

Hello kseniwerdy,

'It has one percent as much... as...' means it has 99% less.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team